November 21, 2017 By Victoria Saffa
Security sector in Sierra Leone, comprising Office of National Security (ONS), Sierra Leone Police (SLP), Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF) and the Ministry of Internal Affair, with support from United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) yesterday launched three important security documents ahead of the 2018 elections.
The three Security document includes: the National Elections threat assessment/district risk mapping, security sector training manual for the 2018 elections and the integrated elections security strategy.
During the launch of the three documents, Minister of Internal Affairs, Retired Major Alfred Paolo Conteh commended the Integrated Elections Security Planning Committee (IESPC) for producing the documents.
He said the first document – National Elections threat assessment/district risk mapping – would essentially guide the deployment of resources in the most efficient manner across the country ahead of, and during the elections.
Conteh said the security sector training manual for the 2018 elections would put all security personnel involved in manning the elections on the same footing, with respect to standard operating procedures during the process.
The Internal Affairs minister said the third document, which is the integrated elections security strategy document, provides a comprehensive strategy for manning the elections and highlights the roles and responsibilities of all security sector institutions that would be involved in the elections.
He maintained that the three documents would form the basis upon which the security would plan and implement their responses, adding that they would form the bedrock upon which their intervention would be built.
He urged political parties, civil society organisations and citizens that, despite the security sector is responsible for law enforcement agencies, they cannot succeed alone without the support and co-operation of people.
In his presentation, Chairman of the Integrated Election Security Planning Committee (IESPC), Francis Langumba Keili, stated that during the 2012 elections the security sector played a significant role in providing the enabling environment for the conduct of the general elections.
He continued that recent events have confirmed heightened concern about increased political tension in the country, noting that the findings from a security sector-wide threat assessment indicate that threats are more diverse and challenging leading up to and after the 2018 than the 2012 general elections.
Keilli said that through working in partnership with all stakeholders, the security sector would seek to maximise public safety within the proximity of every voting venue and minimise the risk to security sector staff supporting the elections process among others.
UNDP Country Director, Samuel Doe, said 30 percent of funding would come from development partners to ensure that the country has free and fair elections, adding that the agency was proud to be part of the process.